My arts and crafts skills are seriously lacking.
I am not a good painter, I’m not handy with a glue gun and once I tried to knit a scarf and it was a disaster (think more knots than stitches).
I recently tried my hand at glass blowing and while I was able to produce a pretty, yellow vase with the guidance of an instructor, by no means would I call myself an expert. If anything, I walked out of the shop with more appreciation for those who create.
It’s the same feeling I get when I visit makers markets or shop for locally made items on Etsy. I’m in awe when I come across something I haven’t seen before such as Gold Arrow Studios’ diffuser bracelets (a clever way to use essential oils so that the scent stays with you all day) and Wander Plant Pots’ geode planters (a must-have for any plant parent).
The thought, determination and ingenuity that goes into each handmade product can’t be overstated. Many of the 30 makers we feature in this month’s “Made with Care” pivoted during the start of the pandemic last year to either go all-in on their side hustle or stretch their imagination to create new items and products.
Associate editor Henry Palattella talked with Shelly Svonavec, the owner of Svona Studio in Cleveland. Known for her abstract paintings, Svonavec used her down time last year to experiment with ceramics. The result is a 14-piece collection that includes a handful of wall hangings that are just as abstract and fun as her paintings.
“This was a mixture of me as a maker trying something new and developing ideas over time,” says Svonavec. “But as far as the viewer goes, it’s really meant to add some interest to your space as a wall hanging that’s different from what you would normally see. It’s not a canvas, it’s not a frame. It’s interesting. It draws the viewer in. It’s meant to inspire you to think kind of differently.”
Perusing the items in this issue has made me think more about why I gravitate toward certain things such as Live Dream Create’s pierogi plushies or Hazelmade’s tomatoes tea towel. Many times, it’s the story behind creating the item that makes it something I can’t live without.